At least seven police officers were injured by rioters in London throwing bricks, glass bottles, and other makeshift missiles at them as they retreated from a mob at what is being characterised as an “unlicensed music event”.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) confirmed on Saturday that they responded to reports of an “unlicensed music event” in White City in West London on Friday evening.
As the group violently assaulted officers, police were forced to retreat and await reinforcements in the form of specially trained public order officers. They were also met with violent backlash from the mob after marching in a phalanx-like formation, but finally dispersing the gathering at around 1 a.m.
BREAKING – Scotland Yard confirms 7 police officers have been injured and a number of police vehicles damaged after crowds attending an unlicensed music event in White City, west London, turned violent. https://t.co/et2761WLlv
— Mark White (@skymarkwhite) July 3, 2020
Footage shared on social media showed officers being pelted with bricks, glass bottles, and other projectiles as they initially withdrew from the scene.
Large gatherings of people are still illegal under Britain’s anti-coronavirus regulations, although they have been flouted with impunity by Black Lives Matter supporters and last night’s violence marked the second straight weekend of violent attacks on officers trying to quell so-called “street parties” in the capital.
Bricks being thrown at police as they try to clear large group of estate in White City pic.twitter.com/jd2HSRoyFq
— Noel Phillips (@Noel_Phillips) July 3, 2020
“Officers have responded to residents complaining about a large gathering, noise, anti-social behaviour and violence,” Deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor said.
“These gatherings are illegal and also pose a risk to public health.
“The violence shown towards officers this evening was totally unacceptable and we will not tolerate it in any form. Officers encountered bricks and other missiles being thrown at them,” Taylor confirmed.
Our robust police response demonstrated that we will police incidents like these firmly and stop those intent on causing harm or disruption to our communities,” Taylor added.
So far there have been no arrests made by the police in connection to the violent riot.
More clashes – as a dispersal zone and section 60 are now in place in White City pic.twitter.com/c0PtPTbEhf
— Noel Phillips (@Noel_Phillips) July 4, 2020
In response to the violent riots in White City, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said it was “disgraceful that police officers came under attack with some suffering injuries at an illegal gathering in White City last night. Violence against the police will not be tolerated and perpetrators will be caught and prosecuted.”
Khan went on to say that as the pubs open throughout the nation on Saturday, additional officers “will be out today continuing to work hard to keep our city safe.”
Police in White City be like “Affix bayonets” pic.twitter.com/HViU2t6eG4
— Michael Morgan (@mikewhoatv) July 4, 2020
Despite his rhetoric, Mr Khan has refused to clamp down on often violent mass gatherings of Black Lives Matter protests in the city, regardless of their illegality.
In June, the leftist mayor announced that as a result of tax collection shortfalls during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, the city will be looking to cut some £110 from the budget for the Metropolitan Police, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), and the fire brigade, among other public bodies.
Tim Clarke of @MPFed speaks out after 7 colleagues injured last night: “This thuggery is appalling… police leaders need to ensure our colleagues attending unlicensed music events are appropriately equipped for the violent behaviour that is highly likely.” https://t.co/PYRtFq4bac pic.twitter.com/b8zR8N92Zr
— Met Police Federation (@MPFed) July 4, 2020
Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka